Pitt confident ahead of Senate battle

X MARKS THE SPOT: From left, Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey, Napandee land owner Jeff Baldock and Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt at the site of the proposed radioactive waste facility.
X MARKS THE SPOT: From left, Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey, Napandee land owner Jeff Baldock and Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt at the site of the proposed radioactive waste facility.

Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt has remained confident the federal government can get their legislation for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) through the upper house when the Senate resumes next week.

This is despite Labor withdrawing its support for the bill at the 'eleventh hour' and further dissenting reports from the Greens and Independent Senator Rex Patrick.

Mr Pitt was in Kimba today to speak with residents about the NRWMF and also visited the site for the facility at Napandee where he met with farmer Jeff Baldock who volunteered the land.

In regards to the Senate legislation, Mr Pitt noted that the majority of the Senate Economics Committee had supported the bill moving forward.

However dissenting reports from Senator Patrick, Labor Senator Jenny McAllister and the Greens all raised issues with the notion of removing the right of judicial review through amendments to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act.

Mr Pitt said the government were taking the legislation to the 'highest democratically-elected decision-making body in the land' in the Australian Parliament.

"We are asking the parliament to make a decision to give some certainty not only for the project but the people of Kimba who have spent almost five years in this process already," he said.

On whether the intermediate and low level nuclear waste would be transported through towns like Whyalla and Port Augusta, Mr Pitt said the transport routes were to be determined.

"They will be determined as we move through the approvals process...we currently distribute some 12,000 doses of nuclear medicine every week right around the country," he said.

"This is something that happens every single day in Australia right now."

Another key part of the approvals process for the NRWMF will be securing a licence to store Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) and Low Level Waste (LLW) from ARPANSA.

Asked what would happen should the federal government secure one licence but not the other, Mr PItt said he wouldn't 'buy into every single hypothetical outcome'.

"We're putting forward the legislation to the Senate...if it passes through the parliament next week we'll be getting on with it," he said.